Hack Easy | Hackaday

Right here at Hackaday, we undoubtedly like to rejoice the laborious hacks: the insane feats of reverse engineering, the physics-defying flights of fancy, or the abuse of leading edge expertise. However at this time I’d like to lift a rhetorical glass in tribute of the easy hacks. As a result of, to be completely sincere, the huge majority of my hacks are easy hacks, and it’s most likely the identical for you too. And these typically go unsung as a result of, properly, they’re easy. However that doesn’t imply that one thing easy can’t be useful.

Living proof: an ESP8266 press-buttons system that we featured this week. It doesn’t do a lot. It’s foremost characteristic is that it connects to a house automation community over WiFi and allows you to flip three relays. Wires coming off the board are to be soldered to the not-yet-smart system in query, merely related to every facet of the button you’d prefer to press. Within the instance, a espresso machine was turned on and the “go” button pressed, automating probably the most important kitchen rituals. Whereas recording the podcast, I noticed that I’ve constructed basically this system and have it controlling our home’s heating furnace.

For the skilled hacker, there’s not a lot right here. It’s a easy board design, the software program closely leverages ESPHome, so there’s not a lot work on that entrance both. However think about that you simply lacked any of the wide-ranging abilities that it takes to make such a tool: PCB format, ESP8266 software program wrangling, or the nuances of designing with relays. You would simply as simply construct this system flawed as proper. The startup prices are non-trivial.

Making a easy design like this accessible to the general public isn’t a technical flex, and it’s not contributing to the leading edge. However it simply is perhaps giving somebody their first style of DIY residence automation, and a candy style of success. There’s not a lot simpler than discovering a swap and soldering on two wires, but when that’s the spark that pushes them on their path to higher hacks, that’s superior. And even when it doesn’t, not less than it’s one other equipment beneath consumer management, related to a non-public WiFi community slightly than spying you out and phoning residence to Large Toaster.

So right here’s to the easy hacks!